PALEO CHIPOTLE ORANGE CHICKEN WITH ROASTED SWEET POTATOES

Paleo, gluten free and dairy free chipotle orange chicken with roasted sweet potatoes.  30 minute one dish meal. 

 

Sometimes you just need a quick dinner that only dirties one cooking dish and only takes about 30 minutes to make.  That may seem like a tall order, but this chipotle orange chicken with roasted sweet potatoes is up for the challenge! 

Preheat oven to 475 degrees.

Ingredients:

6 chicken drumsticks or thighs

1 orange

2 large sweet potatoes 

1 cup orange marmalade (try to find a good quality one without refined sugar)

1 tsp chipotle powder

1/2 tsp garlic powder (or minced garlic)

1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar 

Salt and pepper

Olive oil

1/4 cup arrow root powder

Wash, peel and cube the sweet potatoes, place on a foil lined baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil and toss until evenly coated.

Slice the orange and scatter over the sweet potatoes.

In a small bowl, combine the orange marmalade, apple cider vinegar, chipotle powder, garlic, a drizzle of olive oil, and a pinch of salt and pepper.

Pat chicken dry with a paper towel. Lightly coat the chicken with arrow root powder; this helps the sauce stick.  Then brush about 3/4 of the sauce onto the chicken, set the rest aside.  Layer the chicken on top of the oranges and sweet potatoes, and place into a 475 degree oven for 15 minutes.  Turn the chicken, brush with remaining sauce, and continue roasting until the chicken is fully cooked and the juices run clear, about 10 more minutes.  

Remove from the oven and serve! Enjoy! 

THE STAY AT WORK HOUSEWIFE’S ADVENTURES IN YOGA

As of today I have been doing yoga consistently for four weeks.  I’m still in love with it!  There have been a couple of new things I have discovered since my last yoga post two weeks ago (here!). 

  • I recover from injuries more quickly:

    So, I have this lovely reaction to intense stress, that thankfully has only happened about 4 times in the last 3 years, that I like to call “going Zoolander”, (like the movie, lol) which is where one morning I wake up and can’t turn my head to the left because it’s too painful.  In the past this has put me out of commission for about two weeks as a nail tech, and really as a functioning member of society.  After a pretty intense month, with my husband being away on business, and an unusually stressful series of events at work combined with the usual stress of the beginning of busy season, I woke up last week full Zoolander.  However, this time it only took two nights of snuggling with my heating pad, and I was back to turning my head to the left!  I don’t know if it’s the increased blood flow from yoga, or the fact that my muscles are looser, but I really feel like I healed more rapidly than normal because of yoga!

  • I make even better food choices:

    Before I eat something processed or unhealthy, I think “Is this what I really want to fuel my body with today?”.  Sometimes I think it’s worth it to indulge, but usually I decide I was just bored, drink some water and move on. 

  • More daily positive energy and a better self image:

    Not that I have ever had a negative body image, but I definitely feel really great about myself.  You should hear me talk about my butt.  My little booty has never been anything to write home about, just something to sit on and stick in my jeans; but now when I catch a glance of it I start singing ‘Bootylicious’!  Not only do I feel better physically, but also mentally and emotionally.  I’m really proud of myself for sticking to yoga, I don’t beat myself up when I can’t hold a pose as long as someone else, and my inner monologue is kinder, even off the mat. 

  • My husband benefits from my increased positive self image:

    My mother, mother in law and sister read my blog so I won’t elaborate.  But you get what I’m saying. *wink* 

  • If I am unbalanced in my personal or professional life, I can’t find my balance on the mat.

    Like I mentioned earlier, work has been unusually draining.  Last Wednesday everything kind of collided so I decided to take out my stress in yoga class.  To my frustration, when I would try to do a balance pose, like warrior or even a simple lunge, something I don’t usually struggle with, I was incredibly unstable and wobbly.  At one point I had to completely adjust my position so that I wouldn’t just topple over.  It is unlike me to feel unbalanced or out of control in my personal or professional life, so I have to think my unsteadiness on the mat Wednesday was a physical manifestation of that.

     

    My favorite part is that a month in I still learn something every time I hit the mat; there will always be a move to be excited about perfecting, breathing to focus on more intently, and thoughts to clear more completely!      

PALEO CARIBBEAN SHEPHERDS PIE OR PASTELON

This is my take on Paleo Caribbean Shepherds Pie, also known as Pastelon, a chorizo and beef skillet meal topped with mashed roasted plantains.  Gluten free, grain free and dairy free!  



According to Wikipedia, Pastelon is a sweet and salty blend of plantains, meat, cheese, and sauce, the meat varies by location.  It seems the internet can’t agree on the origins of the dish; different sites either say Puerto Rican, Dominican or Cuban.  I saw it on an episode of Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives (yes I watch it even though I refuse to believe Guy Fieri is a real human being) and the woman making it just called it Caribbean, so we’ll go with that!  As amazing as it looked, I had to alter it so much to paleo-fy it, that I don’t even know if I’m allowed to call it Pastelon any more… Oh well! Let’s just call it Caribbean Shepherds Pie!  

Ingredients:

3 Ripe Plantains

Olive oil

1 egg

1 Tbs honey

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 cup coconut milk 

1/2 lb Ground Chorizo

1/2 lb Ground Beef

15 oz can tomato sauce 

1 yellow onion (peeled and diced)

2 Tbs ghee or butter (or another cooking fat/oil of you choice) divided

2 tsp chipotle powder 

2 bell peppers; diced (optional, I actually don’t like cooked peppers so I don’t add them!) 

*Preheat oven to 375 degrees

Peel and slice plantains longways, place on a parchment lined cookie sheet and drizzle with olive oil.  

Bake for 20 minutes, flip and continue baking for another 10 minutes.  Remove from oven and set aside to cool.



Increase the oven temperature to 400 degrees.

In a cast iron skillet over medium high heat, melt one Tbs of ghee, and brown the onions, chorizo and beef.  Drain the grease drippings and return to heat.  Add tomato sauce, chipotle powder and salt and pepper to taste (add the peppers at this point if using).  Turn heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes.

While the filling simmers, mash the roasted plantains with honey, salt, egg and coconut milk.  

Spread the mashed plantains on top of the filling, melt the remaining ghee or butter and brush across the mashed plantains.  

Bake in the oven at 400 degrees for 15-25 minutes, or until golden brown.  



Serve with avocados and hot sauce! Enjoy! 

(Be very careful with the iron skillet, my Instagram followers might remember when I was nursing a burn from one with white wine and lavender essential oil.) 

THE STAY AT WORK HOUSEWIFE’S ADVENTURES IN YOGA

As of today, I have been consistently doing yoga for two weeks, combining weekly one hour classes, and following along with the 30 Days of Yoga with Adriene YouTube series.  Before I make the following statement, let me clarify this: I am Dani Sage, of sound mind and body, no one is writing this for me, and I have not fallen and hit my head. Okay. I LOVE YOGA!!! Look, I’m as shocked as anyone, I’m the first one to admit that I hate physical activity, but I suddenly understand why people quit their 9-5 office jobs to become yoga instructors! One day last week we got five inches of snow, and as I slid through a red light like my car was on ice skates, I fantasized about running away to teach yoga on a beach somewhere!  Pretty tempting when your breaks are ineffective against the weather where you live!  

Even in the short two weeks that I have been doing yoga I’ve noticed some pretty big changes:

  • I’m more conscious of my breathing habits.  I’ve never noticed how many times a day I hold my breath! No wonder I can’t get with the program some days, my brain isn’t getting oxygen!
  • My thoughts are more clear.  I still have a To Do list swirling through my brain, but I’m finding that I can set it aside and be more ‘present’ during every day tasks.  
  • Im becoming more flexible.  I’ve always been incredibly inflexible, you know that day in gym class where you had to sit with your legs straight out and then lean forward to see how far you could push the measuring thing with your fingertips? My gym teacher asked me if I was even trying… Now each time I do downward dog my heels get closer and closer to touching the mat! (I’ll be so excited on the day they finally touch!)
  • I make time for myself.  Aside from the one hour massage I treat myself to every four weeks, I never take time for me!  It’s go go go from the minute my feet hit the floor in the morning, to the moment I fall asleep at night, without ever taking time to check in with myself to see how I’m feeling.  It’s nice to take time every day to connect with me! 
  • I can survive an hour without checking my cell phone.  So can the people texting me and so can my Facebook and Instagram followers!  The world does not collapse without me checking my phone!
  • My butt looks great in yoga pants! Seriously.  I don’t usually even have a butt, so I’m pretty excited!  I just have to be careful wearing them around my husband…

So if you hear me going on and on about my love for yoga and are concerned that some kind of exercise enthusiastic alien has invaded my body, don’t worry it’s still me, I’m just drinking the kool aid! Namaste!